China's $10B/year PR ministry mired in political fight with anti-corruption/loyalty enforcers

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China's Propaganda Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (in English, "Publicity Department") spends $10B/year -- only part of its budget -- getting the official Chinese party line into foreign news outlets, with the rest of its activity directed internally, at government communications discipline and media censorship. Read the rest

The "dead parent test" for effective movie dialogue

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From the Now You See It YouTube channel: "What makes dialogue work? Let's explore the power of dialogue in film and take a look at the offensively named 'Dead Parent Test.'" Read the rest

Washington Post calls for "blackout" on Trump coverage, appeals to RNC

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Donald Trump's butt-hurt, thin-skinned response to the Washington Post's basic, journalistic skepticism about his Obama-conspires-with-terrorists was to yank the paper's media credentials, adding them to the growing pool of media that is barred from Trump events, which includes "Politico, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Gawker, Foreign Policy, Fusion, Univision, Mother Jones, the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Des Moines Register and the Daily Beast" -- as well as any previously accredited news outlet that Trump doesn't feel like admitting on any given day. Read the rest

Young Journalist contest: win admission to the HOPE hacker conference

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This summer, NYC's Pennsylvania Hotel will once again fill with joyous hackers as 2600 Magazine celebrates the 11th Hackers on Planet Earth conference (HOPE): I'm giving a keynote, and if you're a student or young journalist, you can win admission to the conference by writing an article about subjects of interest to the event. Read the rest

UK startup offers landlords continuous, deep surveillance of tenants' social media

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Here's Source Assured's pitch: landlords, if you write a requirement for tenants (and prospective tenants) to let us access their social media accounts into your lease/application process, we'll scrape all that data, use an unaccountable system to analyze it, and produce libelous, life-destroying dossiers on them that you can use to discriminate against people who seek shelter, the most fundamental human need after sustenance. Read the rest

Tell the EU: don't put price-tags on hyperlinks!

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Ruth writes, "The link tax is back, but we have a chance to stop it. The Save the Link network are pushing back against proposals in the EU for a new hyperlinking fee (AKA 'ancillary copyright') that will affect us all. If lobbyists succeed copyright rules will be extended to hyperlinks - giving publishers the right to charge business fees for linking to content." Read the rest

United Arab Emirates hacked UK journalist

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A new research report from Citizenlab painstaking traces the origins of a series of sophisticated hacking attacks launched at Rori Donaghy, a UK journalist for Middle East Eye who founded the Emirates Center for Human Rights, which reports critically on the autocratic regime that runs the UAE, and 27 other targets. Read the rest

Everything is a Remix on "The Force Awakens"

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Kirby Ferguson's amazing Everything is a Remix series (previously), turns its keen eyes on JJ Abrams's record-breaking reboot of Star Wars, itself a mashup of classic films, and shows what happens when a mashup artist remixed a remix of a mashup. (via Kottke) Read the rest

Trump campaign cancels interview after overhearing reporter speaking in Spanish

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Donald Trump was all set to be interviewed by TV Azteca's Marcos Stupenengo -- a white, green-eyed Argentine expat -- until they overheard him talking on the phone in Spanish, whereupon the interview was summarily cancelled and Stupenengo was escorted out of the building by Trump's Secret Service detail (who apologized to him). Read the rest

McClatchy newspapers' CEO pleased to announce that he's shipping IT jobs overseas

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Between 120 and 150 IT workers will be fired from the McClatchy newspaper syndicate (Scramento Bee, Miami Herald, etc), after they have trained IT contractors from India's Wipro to do their jobs. Read the rest

Outstanding rant about establishment pearl-clutching over Trump

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With Trump headed to an uncontested convention, high-paid conservative columnists like George Will have penned columns defending party bosses who might be planning to overrule the popular votes and hand-pick a more acceptable candidate for the GOP to front for president in 2016. Read the rest

After advertiser complaints, Farm News fires editorial cartoonist who criticized John Deere & Monsanto

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Rick Friday has been the editorial cartoonist for Farm News for 21 years, with a weekly slot in every Friday's paper. Read the rest

How British journalists talk about people they're not allowed to talk about

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The "super-injunction" (previously) is a weird feature of English and Welsh law through which the very wealthy can hire bulldog lawyers to get judges to pass an order prohibiting any newspaper or journalist from disclosing true facts about them, on pain of jail-time. Read the rest

Ohio newspaper chain owner says his papers don't publish articles about LGBTQ people

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When Dale Grimm, owner of four Ohio papers -- the New Carlisle News, the Enon Eagle, the Tippecanoe Gazette, and the Troy Tribune -- was queried on Facebook by high-school students about why some of their student assignment articles were published in his papers, but the ones about the school's Gay-Straight Alliance and a trans student weren't, the proprietor answered, "We do not print articles of that nature." Read the rest

Boston Globe previews a front page from the Trump presidency

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The Boston Globe's front page today is a piece of design fiction that offers a glimpse of the first days of a Trump presidency, with headlines like "DEPORTATIONS TO BEGIN: President Trump calls for tripling of ICE force; riots continue"; "Curfews extended in multiple cities"; "Markets sink as trade war looms"; "US soldiers refuse orders to kill ISIS families"; and many sly digs, including the news that "NASA engineers halted the launch of an unmanned probe amid fears that its new gold leaf trim would interfere with radio communications." Read the rest

How to write about scientists who are women

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The "Finkbeiner Test," created in 2013 by science writers Ann Finkbeiner and Christie Aschwanden, challenges science writers who are profiling scientists who happen to be women to write about them without mentioning their gender, childcare arrangements, husband's occupation, etc. Read the rest

Four days in, and the BBC hasn't even mentioned the biggest bribery scandal in history

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On Wednesday, Fairfax and Huffington Post broke the Unaoil story, revealing that they had been leaked a trove of email from an obscure Monaco family business that had acted as a global fixer in bribery and bid-rigging that looted the treasuries and oil-fields of some of the world's poorest countries, from Iraq to Yemen, acting on behalf of blue-chip companies like Rolls-Royce and Halliburton. Read the rest

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